space law

The Universe, a zone of lawlessness

This spacecraft, the Tesla Roadster, was not going to measure anything, observe anything. It was a grand publicity stunt, at the cost of “intentional pollution” of outer space. The radio installed on board the imitation vehicle, and supposed to play the song Life on Mars? by David Bowie was too much detail: there is not even a sound in space!

Towards the taxation of LEO activities?

Taxation of LEO activities seems to be a solution. The appropriate model could be the following one: if a State A wants to launch a satellite or a constellation of satellites, it will have to pay X depending on the orbit (and how already saturated and used the orbit is), the size of the space object or the number of space objects, and finally and why not, depending on its intended purposes (whether scientific, commercial, military…).

The Export Administration Regulations

The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) are a set of regulations administered by the Bureau of Industry and Security, which is part of the U.S. Commerce Department. In general, the EAR govern what a person may export from the U.S., re-export the item from a foreign country, or transfer an item from one person to another, in a foreign country.

The doctrine of clean hands in Public International Law

“Fraus omnia corrumpit”, a Latin locution, is a founding principle of law, and is the founding of the doctrine of clean hands, also known as the “dirty hand doctrine”. It literally translates into: “The fraud corrupts everything”, meaning that the fraudster shouldn’t draw any benefit from a situation where the law is used for something it forbids.

The legal status of 3D printed food in outer space

There is no 3D printed food in space that is eaten by astronauts. It would be useful to enforce a new legal regime for these space objects, to ensure that the development of this method is not restrained by the procedure created for objects sent into space from Earth.

The conditions for speaking of a State in Public International Law

In Public International Law, the State is defined by three constituent elements: a population, a territory and a governmental organisation. The population within the meaning of Public International Law consists of persons attached to the State by a legal bond: nationality.

The case of force majeure in space law

Similarly, space debris among those present in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), not listed because less than ten centimetres in size, could cause damage to a satellite or even compromise a launch. If it is established that these debris did indeed cause the damage, force majeure may be claimed, insofar as it is impossible to predict the presence of these small debris.

What is the nationality of someone born in space?

What would be the nationality of a baby born in weightlessness, four hundred kilometers away from the Earth? Should we consider different scenarios, based on the place of birth? Is there a difference to the citizenship of the baby, whether the birth occurs in a spaceship, in an international space station, on a futuristic lunar base, or on a colony of Mars?

The need for a Deep Space GPS

Current navigation has many limitations. One of them is to establish a constant dependence between the space object and the Earth. Another important limitation is to not allow deep space navigation. Thus, this navigation, when the range of action of the vessels will increase, communication times can be counted in minutes, even hours.

Proposal for a Martian Constitution

ARTICLE 43: The Republic of Mars is a Federation. Each State on Earth is to be assigned a Federated State of the Republic of Mars. In the event of independence, the territory of the Federated States of the Republic of Mars would no longer belong to the Terrestrial States.

The history of spy satellites

A reconnaissance satellite or spy satellite is a low-orbiting satellite that collects information about civilian and military installations in other countries using an optical or radar system. The first generation type took photographs, then ejected canisters of photographic film which would descend back down into Earth’s atmosphere.

What laws apply in international contracts?

Private relations increasingly include an element of foreignness due to the internationalization of economic exchanges and the multiplication of population displacements. In doing so, international contracts are common in all economic activities.

Nicaragua v. United States

In the case of Nicaragua v. United States of America, concerning military and paramilitary activities against Nicaragua, the Court had first to make a judgement on its jurisdiction. On November 26, 1984, the United States Government has invoked a number of reasons for trying to escape international justice.

2020: the decade of return to the Moon

The return of humans to the Moon is planned for 2024 as part of the Artemis program: fifty-five years after Apollo, the crew should be made up of a man and a woman with the objective of installing a perennial base on our natural satellite. A project in which Europe and France will be associated.

Astronationalism or nationalism in outer space

Nationalism in space or astronationalism is something that should not happen. Humankind should learn from the past and continue the cooperation, as it is seen in the case of the ISS, to lead space exploration. For space conquest, the Earth should be one, a single entity.

Legal issues concerning a Chinese booster which crashed in a rural area

According to the China National Space Administration, on November 23, 2019, China launched a Long March-3B rocket to put two navigation satellites BeiDou into orbit from the launching site of Xichang, located in the Sichuan province. Unfortunately, one of the boosters crashed and hit a rural village near the launching site of Xichang.

Understanding the Barcelona Traction case

The judgement of 1970 is a fundamental one in the way that it expressed this notion of erga omnes that is now considered as one of the pillar of the international law. The notion of erga omnes is associated with the notion of jus cogens which corresponds to a fundamental principle, considered as universal and superior to which no derogation can be granted.

Is 2019 the Year When The First Crime In Space Was Committed?

Crimes related to the space industry or space domain in general can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Indeed, space-related offenses are quite rare, as it is still a domain restricted from the general public. However, in 2019, a news made the headlines due to its surprising novelty.

ESA ministerial meeting results in record budget

On November 27 and 28, 2019, the ESA (European Space Agency) council meeting at ministerial level (Space19+) took place in Seville, Spain. Now that one week has past, let us take a view back at the meeting, its results and initial reactions expressed within Europe.

A history of Vomit Comets

Parabolic flight, as a way of simulating weightlessness, was first proposed by the German aerospace engineer Fritz Haber and the German physicist Heinz Haber in 1950. Both had been brought to the U.S. after World War II as part of “Operation Paperclip”.